What to do with old fur coats and stoles?
The answer will depend largely upon your feelings about wearing animal fur.
People who are anti-fur will want to consider donating the coat to the Humane Society, which promotes cutting up old furs to use as surrogate mothers for orphaned mammals, making their nests warm and comforting. Search the Wildlife International database for a list of nearby rehabilitation centers. Or donate to PETA where they will pass an old fur coat on to a homeless person, who, according to PETA, “are the only people who have an excuse to wear fur.”
Those with no moral objections to wearing fur need to learn what sort of fur they have. Is it chinchilla or weasel? Leopard or mink? Your local fur dealer will identify it for you for free and give you some ideas. They can appraise too, but that might have a small cost. Identifying the fur is the first step. After that, you can:
–donate to a theatrical program at a local little theater, high school, or university,
–have it remodeled and updated at a furrier’s to wear again,
–donate or sell for arts and crafts, or make something yourself (a collar, muff, handbag, pillow, or vest),
–sell directly on eBay or other site, bearing in mind that traditional styles sell best,
–sell to online businesses such as Cash for Fur Coats or to one of the three main used fur dealers in the U.S. (Henry Cowit in NY, Ritz Furs in NY, or Chicago Fur Outlet—find information online) where they buy outright or sell on consignment,
–sell on consignment at a local secondhand clothing shop,
–trade in at your local furrier for credit toward another coat.
Furs are like cars, they depreciate dramatically the day you walk out of the shop and are generally worth less than you think. They also don’t last as long as you think, so if you find an old fur, it may be worthless. Some minks, if well cared for, might last fifty years, but if the fur has been stored in the attic or basement, it has probably been ruined by heat, moisture, or pests.